Magnesium… a vital mineral (diet and magnesium research)

natural magnesium-rich salt lakeMAGNESIUM IN OUR DIET

Even if your diet is high in foods containing magnesium, you may not be absorbing enough magnesium if you have digestive problems.  Our bodies also cannot store magnesium, so we need to pay constant attention  to our intake of this crucial mineral.  If you recognised some of your symptoms in the list of factors contributing to the decreased absorption of magnesium (see above), you may be especially interested in transdermal application of magnesium, which bypasses the digestive system altogether.

A change for the worse…

Our western diet has changed considerably over the past 50 years, and a large amount of the food we now consume is refined or grown in poor quality soil. Because of this change, the magnesium content in our food has been reduced. Wheat for instance has nearly 85% of its magnesium content removed by the time it has been refined, bleached and milled.

As a rule of thumb, any food that is white or has been refined (white flour, white bread, pasta) has lost many of its vital nutrients.  If you eat a diet of high in processed foods, sugar and little or no fresh fruit and vegetables, you have a higher chance of being magnesium deficient.

What to do?

Incorporate in your diet as many magnesium-rich foods as possible.   Take oral magnesium supplements and/or try applying magnesium chloride oil (or gel) to your body.  You also can soak in a bath or foot bath containing magnesium chloride flakes – all this may help you boost levels of this crucial mineral.


  • All leafy green vegetables (such as kale and nettle) – also beetroot, carrot, celery, asparagus, cucumber, and lettuce.  The green colour indicates the presence of chlorophyll, a tell-tale sign of the presence of magnesium.
  • Fruit – paw paw, pineapple, bananas, avocado, apricots, cherries, figs, lemons, peaches, pomegranates.
  • All sea vegetables, including kelp, dulse, wakame, arame, hijack.
  • Sprouts
  • Herbs – parsley, coriander, dandelion, mint.
  • Nuts – almonds, cashews, brazil nuts, pecans, walnuts (and all nut milks made from these).
  • Seeds – pumpkin, black sesame
  • Unprocessed organic rye, millet, quinoa, brown rice (sprouted grains or flour).  Soak overnight and rinse to remove the phytic acid – a magnesium antagonist.
  • Legumes – lentils, peas, beans.
  • Good quality unprocessed sea salt is high in magnesium

The magnesium content in soil has decreased over the years in many areas, which in effect makes the food grown in this soil low in magnesium.

Note: animal protein contains little or no magnesium.

Remember: you can also juice fruit and vegetables to try and augment your intake of magnesium.  We have written about using juices to increase vitality and have compiled a thorough list of what nutrients common fruits and vegetables contain.

Please exercise caution implementing any dietary change: we always recommend consulting an accredited dietitian beforehand, especially if you are in ill health, pregnant or elderly.


Dr. Dierck-Hartmut Liebscher, MD. wrote ‘Magnesium deficiency is widespread, but under-detected because of the role of Magnesium, not only in the plasma, but intracellularly […]  Based on experience, it is our own conviction that many patients with so-called exclusion diagnoses as for example, Attention Deficit Yyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) or Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) would have their symptoms improved through Magnesium therapy.”*

Dr. Mildred Seelig (MD. NPH, MACN) was a renowned researcher of magnesium and advocated its transdermal use to boost magnesium levels.  She wrote ‘The Magnesium Factor‘, published in 2003.

Dr. Norman Shealy’s research into the use of magnesium chloride transdermally is documented in his book ‘Holy Water, Sacred Oil – The Fountain of Youth‘, which we have already quoted.

Dr. René Quinton, a French biologist and physiologist from the early 20th century published ‘L’Eau de Mer, Milieu Organique’ (‘Sea Water: Organic Medium’), a book so well researched it was re-issued in 1995 because of its well-researched content.  Amongst this well-researched content, the discovery that pure seawater (which contains large amounts of magnesium) is virtually identical chemically to human blood plasma, in their levels of mineral salts, proteins and other elements.

Dr. Carolyn Dean (MD., ND.) has researched magnesium extensively and writes about the signs or symptoms that may indicate low levels of it in ‘The Magnesium Miracle’.

Dr. Stephen T. Sinatra, MD, F.A.C.C., F.A.C.N. has written ‘More than seventy-five years ago, medical scientists declared magnesium to be an essential nutrient, indispensable to life’.  He compiled his work in the book  ‘Lower Your Blood Pressure in Eight Weeks‘ .

*”Dierck-Hartmut Liebscher, MD” et al, published in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition, Vol. 23, No. 6, 730S-731S (2004).

Our in-depth look at magnesium started here, and continued here to look at diet and research.

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